We thought we’d end the year with a feature on Polka Dot You that really shouts “Celebration!!!” and we kinda feel we hit the nail on the head with Maria & Nick’s Sentimental & Colourful DIY Wedding Day! Captured by Run Wild Photography, their day was filled with personal touches, lots of colour & fun, and of course, so much love – for each other and from their nearest and dearest. Maria tells us about their brilliant day!

When we spoke of our dream wedding, we envisioned it to be colourful, feature live music, a day of good food, drinks and with the special people in our lives. We got married on the 11 of June 2022 at Nick’s parent’s (Janita and Robert) property in Red Cliffs, country Victoria. The house has special meaning as Nick designed and helped build the blue weatherboard house. It was a magical winter wedding (the rain held off!) with lots of personal touches and a lot of DIY. Throughout the whole planning process, we wanted to do it our way and ensured the day reflected us. A lot of colour and personality was reflected in our outfits, rings, the décor, choice of songs and later choice of ‘thank you’ in the form of a zine.

A string of good luck came into deciding the date after shortlisting May or June. After deciding to have the wedding in Red Cliffs, I independently found local photographers Run Wild Photography. Turns out Nick also liked them and went to high school with one of the photographers, Maddie. They were only available the June long weekend and the same went for the live musician we wanted, Steve Gower. Steve has been a Kuchel family favourite and played at Nick’s mum’s 40th birthday. So, the date was set!

Nick wore his Pop’s tie pin who unfortunately passed away before the wedding, and we drank from his Nan and Pop’s 25th wedding anniversary silver drinkware. His wedding day attire was from Politix & M.J. Bale.

The miracle dress! I am an admirer of Australian artist Ken Done and spotted the Romance Was Born collab dress and emailed them to ask if they could make it into a longer dress. Their first reply was no, as they didn’t have any more of the fabric and would need to reprint a bulk amount. After looking at other options, I always came back to that dress – the print, the colours, and Ken Done. I decided to ask once more if anything could be done before buying the short version of the dress and miraculously, they said they could do a small print run! I cried when I received the email and couldn’t believe my luck and their willingness to create my dream dress. They also provided fabric so Nick could get a pocket square made in the same fabric.

We live in Adelaide and spent a lot of time driving to Red Cliffs (4.5hrs from Adelaide), getting the property ready and creating bespoke pieces for the day. We’re both creative and hands-on with backgrounds in graphic design and architecture and were particular in what we wanted, and for us, the personalisation was in the DIY. We also had a short timeframe to get things done, starting the wedding planning in February 2022.

DIY = lots of to-do lists!  Nick grew grass for the area where the ceremony was held (from dirt to luscious green), built the arbour (which I decorated), helped complete a driveway at the house, hung the lights inside and outside, created garden beds, pallet signs, pallet chairs, veranda for the bar.

I got my designer hat on and designed the invites, name cards and menus. I learnt how to fold napkins, created the flower arrangements (table settings, bouquets, buttonholes), the streamer wall (1000m of streamers used), bunting (52m), sign writing, and collected rugs and vases.

We worked hard on all the details and logistics of planning an interstate wedding, throwing in lots of DIY projects. We could not have done it without the support and help from Nick’s parents and brother Beau.

Nick’s dad Robert is a talented vintage hot-rod custom creative, and he restored Janita (Nick’s mum’s) 1941 Ford convertible for the day. Close family friend Oatsey also got his 1933 Ford Roadster on the road again after many years – a highlight for Nick as he loves this car since he rode in it with one of his best mates as a child. Both cars came down to the crunch and we both didn’t know the roadster was ready until the wedding day (I didn’t know until it showed up to pick me up!).

My nephew Kai did a reading at the ceremony and other nephews Sebastian and Ashton sprinkled confetti before I walked down the aisle.

The day involved an afternoon ceremony, followed by photos offsite for us, while guests went to the pub and then returned for drinks before dinner – long tables in the decorated garage which featured a streamer wall and fairy lights.

Nick & I wanted rings which represented us – something unique and bespoke. My ring has a story in that we were on a hunt for a specific type of blue sapphire in the trillion shape to go along with the vintage pink sapphire that the jeweller had. The jeweller couldn’t source anything similar in Australia and agreed to import one I had found online in New York and cover it under their insurance which was not a standard thing. The two sapphires were designed to sit flush together. Nick’s ring is rugged and has a brushed finish with an irregular free-form edge which is rustic in feel and look.

I surprised Nick with custom VB beer labels which read ‘N+M’s Wedding’ on the day of the wedding – Nick’s favourite beer.

There were a lot of personal touches and one of them was Nick’s parents making our wedding cake! We had two different flavours, chocolate mud & white chocolate with apple.

Food-wise, the idea of a shared meal amongst loved ones was created with a baked brie entrée, roast meats and jazzed-up vegetable sides.

Having many of our loved ones travel across Australia for our wedding made it so special. We haven’t seen a few of our interstate friends in a while due to COVID restrictions and we really appreciate the effort everyone made. Our guest made the day what it was – a big day of love and joy.

Music is something we are passionate about. I spent too many hours perfecting the dancefloor playlist from start to finish – no shuffle allowed. Walking down the aisle song was “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers which has always been our song. Our first dance was the Tesky Brother’s version of “Never Tear Us Apart”, which the Tesky Brothers always had meaning to us as I was going to their gig the day we met. We had a dance lesson with Briony Dancing and many lounge room practises in the lead-up to practise our moves. Nick, an Essendon supporter, is always teasing me for being a Port supporter (which “Never Tear Us Apart” is always played at the start of games) and he got a little surprise during the first dance when he was wrapped with a Port scarf!

The day was everything we manifested, planned for and more! We are in awe of the photos and look at them constantly, finding new little details of the day. When we ask out friends and family about the day, they say it was just so us.

Thank you to Maria & Nick for sharing their glorious wedding day with us! And to Run Wild Photography for sharing their beautiful images.